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77. 4,000 weeks. That’s all you get.

I just turned 40. Let the mid-life crisis begin.

The average lifespan is only about 77 years old, a measly 4,000 weeks. I’ve got less than 2,000 weeks left. This recognition can be both good and bad.

Psychologists have been studying this phenomenon, called “death awareness,” for decades. Perhaps the most widely acknowledged research within this space draws from what’s called “terror management theory.”

According to this research, on the one hand, when we become aware of our inevitable demise, we get worried and scared — are we living a life well-lived? On the other hand, we start being more reflective - how can we maximize our impact or happiness with the time that remains?

The only way to minimize stress and maximize meaning is to hit this existential crisis head-on. Be purposeful in all that you do, before it’s too late.


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